Wednesday, April 28, 2004


The Film Issue of L Magazine came out, so pick up a copy and turn to page 12/13 for Caustic to read my essay about how New York is the same shitty city it's always been. I wonder if y'all agree with my points? I love the pull quote from the article that was used, it makes me want to kiss Jonny Diamond - a great editor, by the way. It is:

"Who cares if 'freaks' shot up in bathrooms? They still do! That's not urban decay, that's good manners.

I like people with guts.

As is typical, my opponent in debate Adam Bonislawski drew attention away from my argument by shining attention onto my physical appearance, by use of the phrase, "the lovely Ms. Delfino." I'm no feminist, and I love compliments, believe me, flattery WILL get you totally laid by me, but I hate when my looks are used in association with anything I make, write, or create. I know I'm a cutie pie, but I'm not cuter than I am smart. The age old question comes to mind, or maybe it's not age old, but it's a question I've been asked before, and maybe you have, too. If you could have any of the following, which would it be? Great looks, a huge bank account or a very high IQ?

I would definitely choose a high IQ, because with brains, you can get money and dates. With looks, you can get money and dates too, but you will always be chastised, and with money, you can get dates and brains, I guess, (is there such a thing as plastic surgery for an ugly brain? I dunno...) but you will always be used for your money, and I truly believe no one will ever love you. But some might argue that no one will truly ever love anyone.

It is thanks to my tremendous IQ that I have the piddly amount of anything that I have currently. No thanks to money, and I've got plenty of it in my family, but all my rich relatives are greedy self-serving assholes, and no thanks to my good looks, they haven't gotten me too much more than a shit load of trouble, and my looks will expire, and before too long.

I don't hold it against Adam, however. Perhaps he was only mocking me, I'd appreciate a wily attempt at mockery before I'd credit him for his observational skills. Not to mention, my photo aside the essay is hideous, I look either pissed, driven or self-righteous, none of which I was when the photo was shot. So maybe he was certainly mocking me, or me and whoever chose the photo. But I've never been incredibly photogenic. My looks are only good in person, I think, and I have one of those changing faces that varies due to any number of factors, including hallucinogenic drugs, sunlight, sleep deprivation or too much sleep, lumps in my pillow, stress, anger, hapiness, and what have us all.

I'd like to say, I am quite happy with my physical appearance, and not because I think I'm so hot. It's because I can accept the way that I look. I don't see reflections in the mirror and cry or count the days until surgery is mine. But while we're on the topic, I do, have some complaints, which I have filed with God. If you care to read more, then these are a few of the problems I have with my physical appearance:

For starters, I have a few wierd eye moles that are horribly reminiscent of my mother's eyes, which are horribly reminiscent of my Uncle Charles and Aunt Charlene's eyes, which are horribly reminiscent of Charlie Manson's eyes. Google a photo of my mother if you don't believe me. She looks just like me, if I looked more like Charles Manson. Right now, the moles are cute and unassuming, but someday, oh, you just wait and see some day. Some day, my moles will have babies and collect a few sun spot friends and maybe some pimple scars and before I know it, I'll have a galaxy of eye dots. Just you wait and see. Provided I live to be old.

Next - big butt. I've never liked my big butt. Whenever I lose or gain weight, which happens often, because I am an eater as well as a serious carb and chocolate junkie who also happens to have a relentless conscience, it goes and comes straight to and from my ass and legs, as if delivered by a shipping company via overnight express. I swear to you. Call me crazy again, you probably have once already, but when I go to sleep after having eaten a snack, like a chocolate cake or what have you, the next morning I wake up and I can SEE that fucking chocolate cake, parked on my hips. Luckily for me, a bike ride will promptly remove said chocolate cake. I know that will only last until I am 30, and then the chocolate cake will get one of those tire boots and it won't be going no where, no how, bike ride or not.

I have fucking adult acne, god dammit. I thought that we were supposed to stop getting pimples after age 18 or whatever, but my friend told me she read that was a fallacy, probably invented by the jew-run media. She said that I should try Irish Spring, because Clinique just wants me to get more pimples so they can sell me more Clinique. Sounds believable. It seems like the adult acne has been getting worse lately, because I had no pimples from about age 18 until about six months ago, when Kurt and I broke up. I started getting them a lot more for some reason, and I could attribute them to stress, or eating tons of junk food all winter long, but where the fuck were they last winter then? Huh? Hmmmm?????

Jeez, I could go on and on. My boyfriend informed me a few months ago that my toes look like old republicans. I probably believe that. So, add it to the list. (I'm incredibly suggestible.)

What else? Oh, my teeth are wierd. When I was five or six, our family took a trip up to Maine (before we lived there) and my dad took me out in the motor boat. We were in the weeds fishing, in about three feet of brackish water. I was wearing a life jacket and sitting on the side of the boat, enjoying the sun and being with my dad. He said, "Hey, Jess, wanna go swimming?" I jumped up, excited, nodding my head, eager, trusting, naive, adorable, bright eyed, not yet jaded, oblivious to the fact that authority figures are not ever to be trusted. He pushed me off the boat in one swift shove, and I smacked my face into the side of the boat. What an idiot he is. I was scared of leaches and started freaking out and waving my hands furiously and crying. He pulled me out and slapped me to calm me down. I noticed at that time that my tooth felt wierd. I showed it to him and he seemed glad, in a way, that my front tooth had been chipped so viciously, it almost looked like half a tooth. Now, I was even more like the son he'd always wanted but never got to have, the son I'd be playing the role of for the rest of my developmental years, for as long as I lived in his house.
He let it stay like that. I didn't get braces. I didn't get a dentist visit. About a year or so later, it developed into an abscess, a big bloody blister on my gum above my front tooth. Then I was taken to the dentist. He gave me darvocet (yeah!!!) and I got to miss a few days of school. The abscess eventually popped, but it bothered me for years and sometimes would re-blister, aching and popping and stinging when I ate for most of my formulative years. When I was about 12, my real father came to visit. He took me to the dentist to get my tooth actually fixed. The dentist gave me a shitty fill in that was a different shade of white then the rest of my teeth and I felt like even more of an ugly retarded boy. I kept old brownie for years. What else could I do? I had a hard time smiling, I felt increasingly self-aware and insecure and I'm sure it only added to the neurotic mess I am today. I even had to get a route canal at age 20 because of all the trouble it was causing. Eventually, I got a job working at Banana Republic when I was in college in Philadelphia. I was pulling these clear sheets of film off of plexiglas squares for a display I was putting together when one of the squares got away from me and cracked me directly in the brown tooth. (It wasn't really 'brown' but compared to my other pearly "whites" it might have well been.) The manager insisted I go to the dentist, and me, always a little resourceful sneaky opportunist, saw it as a way to get a new tooth. I told the dentist about my history with 'the tooth' (I'm going to write a horror film and call it that) and he agreed we should just replace it and put it on Banana Republic's tab. At first, he made me this horrible replacement that would have to suffice while the main nice one was being generated on a special tooth computer in a lab in Sweden. The temporary one looked exactly like a chiclet and I was so horrified when I looked in the mirror, I started crying. It was just typical of my life. It represented me getting shitted on whenever I tried to make something good happen. I kept the block tooth for a week and refused to smile open mouthed and talked very little. After forever, the special nice tooth was finally done and he put it in. That is the special shiny nice tooth that I still have today. If you look at my front teeth, you might notice a variation in the color - one is real, and has been worn and used and abused for 27 years. But the other is shiny white. As I mentioned before, it was made in a special (read:expensive) lab in Sweden, generated by a computer using the exact dimensions of my actual tooth (had the real one never been chipped) and created to reflect and deflect light in the exact same way as a real tooth. It is made of porcelain - the same thing they use to make toilets.

And that's the story of the tooth.

Well, I guess that's all for now. I have butt loads of other problems with my physical appearance, including but not limited to flat feet, a face that is slightly misshapen, (uneven) a big mole on my neck, vericose veins in the making, (soon they'll be all grown up!) bent, crooked fingers, cellulite, and much, much more! But I have a lot of things that I love about my body, such as my long, graceful neck, my elegant collarbone (makes me look like royalty...and I am related to Charlemagne) I also like my eyes, they are okay, and my boyfriend likes my big bottom lip a lot, so that's cool, I like that my legs are long and that my stomach stays relentlessly flat, no matter how big my ass gets, and my tits, I never cared for them or against them, they just exist, so that's okay, I also like my smooth, round shoulders and my shapely hips and back...I guess I have nice hair, at least that's what the hair stylists tell me (the ones that don't find lice in my hair when they're cutting it - that's a true story which I will tell another time.)

I guess in closing, beauty is what you make of it. It's like in movies when they add glasses to the "ugly" girl then take them off and all of a sudden, she's pretty! It wasn't the glasses that were making her ugly, it was the asses.

Thursday, April 22, 2004


Tue. May 18th, mark your calendars, blog nerds, because there is going to be a show at P.S.122 (150 1st Ave. @ 9th St.) that is all about the girls of blog. Featuring blog author ladies Sarah Lewitinn (Ultragrrl), Rachel Kramer Bussel, Jayme Waxman, Lindsay Robertson and GirlyNYC, the show will delve into the "first time I ever...."

I imagine virginity will be covered. What else? The first time.....I got my period? That'll probably get covered. What else? The first time....I fell in love? Maybe. The first time.....I got into a fight? That might be fun. The first time I....did stand-up? Mmmm....boring. I don't know. Any suggestions?

PS 122 is a great space and the show should be very good. I've never seen a bad show there. It starts at 7:30 and is in the downstairs theater.

Monday, April 19, 2004


I was walking along Central Park West on Saturday and I saw a little boy walking with his father. His arms were stretched up high over his head and he said, "Mr. Sun is returning!" Just a few feet away, an adorable blonde girl, about five years old, was staring at her shadow on the sidewalk, and was just fascinated. I am an adamant child-hater, but I admire the fact that kids are so full of curiosity. It's like they are tripping on acid all the time.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004


I was looking for an apartment on Craigslist a few weeks back and I eventually did find one, but look what else I found:

> Hi There,
> You wrote to me a little while ago from CL for a
> room ,though I had to decide against renting the place as I got a studio
> place just for myself, however I found you really interesting and wanted to
> writeback to you. I am 27, easy going laid back professional male with own
> apt accomodation in midtown manhattan, slender and atheletic attractive
> good looks about 5'11" 165 lite skin dark brown eyes dark full hair sensual
> latin ( mom from brasil) and indian ( dad ) mix working for a firm downtown
> manhattan as a VP of network engineering.
> I was Born and raised in NY I like all kinds of music, dance , go out have
> fun , dinner, travel to nice places, sports , and just walk around the city
> currently unattached looking for someone nice who enjoys life is able to
> carry conversations has goals and not into any games as a companion/gf to
> share good times have fun together. If this is something that interests you
> please email me back at and we can take it from there. I apologise if I
> offened you in anyway by writing back in this manner. Hope to talk to you
> soon !.
> -Eddie

I was flattered that he remembered me and decided to e-mail me after several weeks (I guess he probably couldn't get me out of his mind, the poor thing!) but I was not interested for a number of reasons, which I touch briefly on in my probably somewhat lengthy response to him. Some reasons I left out are reasons that aren't necessary information, such as that I generally find men of latin decent creepy, or that I don't tend to date stranger men I meet on-line (I only move in with them,) and that I couldn't be certain of his motives (like he might want to make a dress out of my ribcage or whatever) so I decided instead to play it safe and give it the negatory, the no response, the nay. I nay sayed. Here's my response - I hope he doesn't take it too hard (you know, shooting me in my sleep or whatever.)

Hi Eddie

Thanks for your interest in potentially dating me. Though I can understand your reasons for wanting to get to know me better, (I am very interesting and not to mention beautiful, smart and funny,) I must decline your offer at this time, as I am currently involved with a gentleman who I find to be suitable for the time being.

You do sound very nice, and I am very fond of passionate, employed, tall, foreign men, but I am afraid I am unable to meet you with regards to dating or the possibility of sexual encounters, romantic good times and the like.

I must say, I am flattered at the e-mail you sent to me, and I do thank you for your kind words regarding me and my personality, the impression I project and et cetera, and am not at all offended. I suggest you try back in 3 to 6 months, as the relationship I am currently in mostly consists of physical co-attraction, mental compatability and a common sense of humor, but I am not sure at this point if it has long-term potential.

In closing, I might recommend that instead of a potential beau, you could become a fan. It is similar to being in a relationship with me - you will get all the "want" and "desire" aspects out of the mostly one-sided relationship, assuring that you will fall in love with me and be desparate for the slightest extention of affection I offer, be it a mass e-mail or a mention of you on my blog. You are still welcome to buy me birthday presents and send cards and what not, and in addition, you will be introduced to dirty folk rock and get any associated benefits that might come out of that.

If you would like to be a fan, it is easy, and we can start today. Simply go to my website at, read the stuff I've written, listen to my free mp3, comment positively or negatively on my comment board, check my schedule to see shows that I will be performing on around the city, come to those shows, bring friends or come alone, and what have you. In return, we will develop a glossed over vague friendship-like thing in which our communication will be very limited and probably spontaneous, but we will each benefit, as I will have a new fan, and you will have a new budding starlet to pursue. Can a man ever have enough of them?

Thank you for your query, and have a lovely day.

Yours truly, (willingly)

Jessica Delfino

PS - Can you help me get a job working part time in your firm as a secretary or something like that? I'd be very grateful.

***So, let's see if he writes back and what he has to say about THAT!***


It rained like hell today, all day. I spent a good portion of my day schlepping around the lower east side trying to get some errands done, but upon arriving at the library, I found they are closed on Tuesdays, as was the boutique I was trying to return the costume on lend for last week's appearance at Caustic. Double shit. Then, I had to trudge back home and drop the sopping wet bag of clothes and books off, thinking how I could add those two chores to my ever growing monster list for Wednesday. As I left my apartment, as if on cue, the rain really started coming down, taunting me to try to get one thing accomplished today. Luckily, I had a huge umbrella in tow thanks to the kind intern at Upright Citizen's Brigade last night. As I was leaving the theater yesterday evening, I asked for an umbrella from the lost and found. He gave me a huge, beautiful umbrella with one of those fancy buttons you just simply push and the whole thing expands above you with a whoosh like you are a celebrity or just a regular person who will be drier than the other regular people.

I was very thankful for that huge umbrella as I rode my bike down 26 streets and across 6 avenues in the shelling rain.

And, I was very thankful for it today as I made my way towards the subway stop at Delancey as rivets of water seemed to come out of every pore of the sky, aimed directly for my pant legs and sneakers.

As I reached the subway, I folded up the umbrella and slid my card through the turnstile, heading up to the platform of the uptown JMZ. I leaned my umbrella against the wooden bench and sat waiting for the train. When it approached, I jumped up and boarded the train. At Canal street where I planned to transfer to the 6 uptown, I noticed it was raining through the ceiling. I thought to open my umbrella inside as a silly joke and realized it was gone. I'd left it leaning on the bench like a neglected child. I jumped back on the train, went back to Delancey, my umbrella was history. I half heartedly expected to see it waiting there for me, like the neglected child who had been left behind that didn't know what else to do but wait until someone came to collect it. But no umbrella was to be collected. Someone is so happy right now to have that big, bad assed umbrella. I got back on the subway, defeated and went back to Canal street. At Canal, I ascended the maze of dripping ironwork and found my way to the 6 transfer. There, the water was pouring down from the ceiling like we were on a sinking ship. It was like an Irish Spring commercial, draining from the streets and sidewalks directly down onto our heads. I stood in a dedicated trickle of water and looked around at everyone else doing the same thing. No one really seemed to mind, and normally I would shut off my appropriate responses and turn on oblivion, but it bothered me this time. I felt pissed off. I bought a $21 ticket every week to ride the train. Where is that money going? It isn't going into the maintenance obviously, of leaking ceilings and rafters. I was wondering - is that safe? To have all that water just constantly flowing through the creaks and cracks of the old decrepit subway stations? Doesn't dripping water create erosion? And doesn't erosion create degeneration and eventually, collapse?

I waited for the 6 train and thought about how blissful it must be to be of average or below intelligence. I wished I could just listen to Britney Spears every day and think about things like sneakers or my favorite character on my favorite WB show. I considered huffing glue to knock off a few IQ points so that I could live a wonderful, oblivious existence. Because, what am I going to do about anything? I guess I could call 311 and give them the rigamarole! I could let them have a piece of my mind, god dammit, I tell ya! And what good would it do? I'll tell ya. None.

As I got out of the 6 train at Astor Place, there was a small lake on the platform that I had to dance around and through to keep the 20% of my feet that happened to still be miraculously dry-ish from getting soaked. It didn't work, the puddle was too big and my feet quivered in my sneakers as the water seeped in through the eye-lace holes and poor, inexpensive sweat shop worker stitch job. I thought about how it must be pouring outside if this is what it was like downstairs and started fretting. I had to make three stops over the course of eight blocks. I was about to get doused. As I left the subway turnstile, I had a thought -

"Hey, excuse me," I asked the gray haired gent who works regularly at the info booth at Astor Place. We know eachother's faces from my regular stints busking over there. "Did anyone happen to turn a big, tall, slim umbrella in to you? It had a wooden handle," I said. He looked sad for me. "Nope, sorry," he told me. "But I have some half-assed broke-ish ones over here, you can take one if you like." I gratefully accepted his gift of a broken down umbrella, and he handed me a small, royal blue street jobby, you know, the ones the black guys sell you for three bucks. "Thank you," I said, with heart-felt appreciation. "No problem," he said. "It's got steel dust on it." He wiped it off with his hand and held his finger tips up so I could see the proof. "See?" he said. "It's everywhere. They clean it up, but it keeps coming back. It's on the glass," he held his hand up like he was showing me a view of rolling hills out a picture window. "It's on the umbrella," he handed it to me through a little door in the side of the booth. "It's in our lungs, yours to, you know," he said.
I took the umbrella, thanked him without asking anything more about steel dust, and made my way out into the rainy day. I opened the umbrella as I got half way to the top of the stairs and had a feeling that I can only compare to maybe renting a convertible Saab for a trip and then turning the convertible in at the end of the trip for my real car - a beat up old Subaru with the ceiling lining hanging down. The blue umbrella was my Subaru. I am destined forever to drive a Subaru. Not that Subarus are bad cars. But, they're no convertible Saabs.

Also, the words the booth attendant said struck me - steel dust, I going to die? Fuck.

As I left, I took a quick walk through K-Mart to get warmed up. It was nice in there; all the fluorescent lighting and salespeople wearing bibs. I bought a .69 cent bottle of key lime flavored water and made my way back out. I exited through the downstairs doors into the downtown 6 subway stop and came upon a lady yelling at the token clerk. "I had three rides on here, mothafucka!" she shouted at him. "Mothafucka mothafucka!" she declared, followed up with something that sounded like, "Mothafucka!" I felt bad for her and I hate the subway, so I slid her through the turnstile with my unlimited metro card. I wasn't about to get back on the train, I was just cutting through.

It was the least I could do, besides nothing at all, to say, "Hey MTA! Go fuck ya self!"

I breathed in a mighty breath of steel dust and made my way up the stairs.


If you buy a weekly unlimited metro card, pass on the non-savings to any one you can. We are being bamboozled as far as the subway is concerned. We are riding through a series of decrepit tunnels, breathing in toxic dusts and fumes (they clean the platforms with ammonia - I like clean platforms, but I hate the toxic ity of ammonia and too much of it in too thick of a solution can damage sensitive olfactory nerves) and paying too much! Brodeur says subways should be free and the more I ride them, the more I agree and see his points (which actually don't have much to do with mine) but they co-mingle at one or two junctions.

But who doesn't have an annoying MTA story? Every time I ride the train, something shitty happens. Last night as I was riding my bike in the dark in the pouring rain, I decided to stop and go onto the subway because it was too wet and too dangerous. I walked down the stairs and it was one of those stops that has the turnstile gate thing (ladder-like) with no attendant booth. I tried to press the button for help and it was broken. I walked over to the camera and started waving my hands in front of the monitor, hoping someone would see me and help me. I heard no voices or clicking of gate locks being released, but I figured maybe the speakers were all broken. (It wouldn't have surprised me.) So, I slid my card through, hoping that someone would just see that I did that and understand, I had a bike and needed the gate lock to be released. No one answered, no one opened the gate. Screwed, I had to carry my wet bike back up the stairs and out into the storming night. Fuck you, MTA!

So, how can you help to pass on the non-savings and say fuck you to the MTA? Follow these simple steps:

1. If you usually buy your rides as you use them, try to ALWAYS buy rides from the mexicans and gangsters who will swipe you through the turnstiles. They charge the same as the MTA, ($2) but the money is going to the purchase of drugs and alcohol, keeping these roughians from robbing yuppies, the elderly, or the retarded. They aren't always around and sometimes they are hard to spot, dressing and acting as though they might just be homeless or bored homies. Ask them, "Are you a slider?" or "Can you slide me through?" Hand them two dollars, and voila! You just saved yourself from waiting in a fifteen minute line with a rude MTA worker or dealing with a broken MTA machine as your train roars away without you on it.

2. If you regularly buy unlimited weekly or monthly metro cards, swipe people through whenever you can. If you are coming off the train and see someone arguing with an attendant (this always happens,) just say, "Do you need a swipe?" They will usually say yes and thank you a million times. It's a very simple act of generosity and saves headaches. Sometimes even a gift of a savings of $2 can really make someone's day.

3. If you are going through the gate, usher people to go in behind you en masse. Fuck the MTA.

4. If you are sneaking through the turnstile, let someone smoosh in through with you. Fuck the MTA.

5. Also, this is important. Every time something goes wrong, CALL IT IN to 311. Not that it does any good, really, but maybe if enough people call and complain about something, it will get some attention. Try it. It's a free call.

OK, that's all, and remember boys and girls - Fuck the MTA!!! Yayyyyy!!!!!

Monday, April 12, 2004

L Magazine's "CAUSTIC" Cabaret Debate and A Good Review

Last Tuesday, I was invited by the L Magazine to be a featured speaker in this month's episode of Caustic. Caustic is a cabaret style debate which takes place at Bauhaus (I think the venue is going to change) and basically, two people get drunk, debate a silly issue, and get drunker.

I debated on Saturday night this topic, which I'm still not sure is exactly correctly defined as such:
"The character that NYC plays in films of the 50's vs. films of the 70s, and which one is better, specifically focusing on the movies The Apartment for the 50s and Mean Streets for the 70s."

Something like that.

Anyway, I dressed up as a 70s character and my opponent as a dapper 50s gentleman and we battled away. It was a lot of fun, there was a good turn out, the event was sponsored by Grand Mariner, which meant free drinks and I think I might have won, but I'm not really sure. I definitely won the first round, lost the second, and the third was undetermined.

They are going to print our debate in the next issue of the L magazine, so if you get a chance, pick one up and read it. It's under "Caustic" and I'm Jessica Delfino. I defended the 70s and focused on Mean Streets. Below is my debate speech, which you may read if you like, or just wait until it comes out in a few days in L, a free publication.

If you've never read or seen or heard of L magazine, it's sort of a listing magazine, it's handbill sized, and it is distributed via those plastic news paper boxes on the streets. I think it is great. It has lots of listings which are helpful, I suppose, but the writing in the L is really very good. Rebecca Schuman, who writes a recurring feature called "Nothing To See Here" is a funny smart-ass, and then there are really cute little inserts through out the magazine about bits and pieces of New York that maybe you have thought about or maybe you never gave two turds about before hand.

For example, here is an excerpt from, "Uhhh, Geronimo?" in the latest issue of the L magazine, about the Steeplechase Park Parachute Jump in Brooklyn:

You've seen it: that towering structure off to you right as you take the Belt Parkway to the airport; a bizarre edifice looming over the right field wall at Keyspan Park; a soaring steel mushroom the color of the Golden Gate Bridge casting a shadow over the Mermaid Parade.

It is the Steeplechase Park Parachute Jump, better known as "Brooklyn's Eiffel Tower." Originally designed by by Naval Air Commander James Strong to train paratroopers in the fine art of jumping out of airplanes, he converted the concept by popular demand, into an amusement park ride. (more in the L magazine.)

ALSO, I got a nice review in a magazine based out of Miami called "Ego Trip." This is what they had to say:

Musicians are often heard talking about "keeping it real," which is painfully ironic when they are saying this from the confines of their G4 jets or million dollar tour buses. Jessica Delfino, a refreshing independent multifaceted performer, (singer, songwriter, musician and artist) is keeping it real - real as a motherf*cker! Her Dirty Folk Rock album is just that: menstrual cramps and bad cunnilingus, amongst other female genitalia-related things. Catchy jingles and Delfino's innocent voice mask wickedly hysterical lyrics that may be shocking to some, but if you don't like them, move to Weston [Florida] and listen to Britney Spears.

Nice, huh????

Now, without further ado, my Caustic debate fighting words:


I'm sick of old day New York being fancied as some kind of precious, golden, glory-filled promise place.

The fact is, the New York of the 50's is the New York of today. Sure, some things have changed, but only superficially. Tin garbage cans have been replaced by fancy plastic, but they always were, still are and probably always will be overflowing with garbage and dead babies.

Hobos always did and still do light fires in subway tunnels, just now we call "hobos" the homeless and make fun of them.

But in Mean Streets, how is decay represented? Via white men liking black strippers? They always have and always will. Via Italians cavorting with jew girls? Everyone knows religious chicks put out.
Urban decay is a myth. There is no such thing as back in the old days. There are no old days. That song "Glory Days" by Bruce Springsteen? It's a sham, a farce, and a shitty song.

Some of you like that song, and of course you do, because human beings are sentimental by nature and cling to the past. But things aren't getting worse, they've always been bad. The New York of the 50s starring in The Apartment, The New York of the 70s starring in Mean Streets, and the New York of today starring in this room and all around us are one and the same.

It's a New York we are all very familiar with. A New York where indians still drive all the taxicabs. A New York where every residential building still has that one crazy lady of vague, uncertain foreign decent. A New York where gentrification proves we are all still afraid of black people. A New York where the mob is still run by Italians. A New York where white men still love black strippers. A New York where a lot of jewish people still live.

Mean Streets streets weren't so much mean as.....well....., "eh". It's just that no one had ever portrayed the topics addressed in Mean Streets as graphic or wrong up to that point in film. In The Apartment, suicide and adultery were made to be light and funny, using the help of black and white film, loveable actors and bowler hats. In Mean Streets, violent gang activity and black breasts were "portrayed" as troublesome, but we have learned that America loves violent gang activity and bases hit tv shows upon the theme, and black breasts are still making headlines as well.

Other "concerns" mentioned in Mean Streets were laughably lame. Hoodlums blowing up mailboxes never constituted as a threat to our society, did it? And furthermore, I am not afraid of anyone who refers to themself as a hoodlum. And so what if you could buy fireworks on the street? That's kind of cool. And who cares if "freaks" shot up in bathrooms? They still do! That is not decay, that is good manners. Where else are junkies supposed to shoot up? We haven't designated shooting up sections in restaurants or coffeeshops yet. Is that the fault of urban decay?

Mean Streets was scary in the same way that gold teeth were scary to white catholics in '85. It was the newness that invoked fear and the insinuation of "changing times". Not the gold teeth. Gold is precious! So are teeth!

The Apartment is a film that is typical of many 50s era productions. It pretends that the 50s were pretty and safe - something that is simply not true. The people of the 50s were just as incestual, unfaithful and unjust as the people of any other era, such as, say, the people written about in the bible, for example.

In The Apartment, married men cheat on their wives, the main character is a sleeping pill addict and a pervert who looks up personal information of his crush and gains access to her social security number and more. An example of difference, if you want one, is that now there are laws against that kind of behavior, which is known today as "stalking." What 's that word that means the opposite of decay?

In closing, urban decay is a load of horse shit, people. It's just a load of crap. Things aren't getting worse, they've always been shitty. It's just that now shitty things are finally getting noticed.

Monday, April 5, 2004



Hi. My name is Jessica Delfino. You might know me as Jessica, or maybe Delfino, or maybe that fucking whore-bitch who writes all those vulgar songs.


I want to talk to you about why this whore-bitch writes all those vulgar songs. Not many artists will divulge to you the secrets behind their creative process, at least not in a way that is interesting or enlightening. One reason why this is, is because some, most artists don't understand exactly why they make the art that they are making. I believe that it is just as important to understand why you create as it is to actually create. Why I create is not so important, really, as what I create, but I'll talk more about that later. What I want to address is what I create, and that is a little thing called "parody."


Of the definitions listed on the accompanying page, of which you will see several, my favorite is "number" 2, (also a well-known parallel expression for the act of shitting.) It reads: Something so bad as to be equivalent to intentional mockery.

Whether you love or hate dirty folk rock, please understand that it is a mirror. Most of dirty folk rock is written with the intention of mocking fear. By addressing social phobias, we are that much closer to killing them. Death to social phobias! If you ponder everything that you fear ad nauseum, eventually you become desensitized to it, thus overcoming any fear of it. POINT: Hatred of a topic or genre is generally a symptom of fear. For example, if you hate how lots of dirty folk rock songs are about sex or rape, it is possible that you harbor fear towards sex or rape. Don't feel bad. Sex and rape harbor fear towards you, too. Dirty folk rock will bridge this gap, bringing you and sex and rape closer together until you can all kiss on the lips.


FACT: A movie that shows a woman's breast getting kissed merits a rating of R. A movie that shows a woman's breast getting cut off merits a rating of PG-13.

America loves violence and fears sex. Don't fear sex. Sex is fun. Even if it is forced, I bet.

FACT: The part of the brain that creates sexual interest, stimulation is the same part of the brain that creates interest, appreciation of violence.

So then, why can't the two get along in your head? Let them kiss and have make-up sex. Then, maybe they can break beer bottles in the streets together.


"Sex is great."

"I like to have sex."

"I've had sex many times and sometimes it's better than other times, but even shitty sex is still better than, say, washing dishes or going to work."

"I was raped by my father, so I have a hard time having sex without thinking about getting raped by my father."

The overall opinion rings clear. Sex is not scary. Songs about sex are not scary. Listen to songs about sex and enjoy them. Sing them to your parents.


Use these following words in a sentence to a person sitting next to you. (Try to use them all in one sentence if you can, but you may use one or two in a sentence and then one or two in a separate sentence until each word is used over the course of several sentences.) Don't be a fag, just do it.

If you are having a hard time creating a sentence, just repeat these:

So, my (or my girlfriend's) pussy hole slanted to the side. Does that mean her pussy is chinese?
Cunt innards are all pink, no matter the nationality. Just thought I'd say so.
My boyfriend's hairy dick bag is very hairy.
Como se dice vagina gina gina?
Swollen labia. Get it?
That bitch is fat. And she's got a fat gash, too.
(say this one in a proper english accent) Ever notice that you're a bloody twat?

If you use these words all the time, they will eventually lose their potent meaning and then we can use them on the radio, on tv, even in an insulting or derogatory nature towards loved ones. Maybe someday FCC officials will be forced to get jobs as wholesale beverage reps or approving loans over the phone to ex-felons. YOU can help make this beautiful daydream a reality, simply by using the above words in conversation every day. FUCK! COCK! LICKETY BALLS! SHITTER!


I have been accused of writing songs and jokes with the intent of propagating shock value. I don't give a shit or a fuck about shocking any of you or the value that may or may not lie in that. I am not trying to shock you. If I wanted to shock you, I'd do something shocking via an action or event targeted towards invoking shock. When I say fuck or shit or talk about abortion or rape, is that really shocking? Have you never heard the words shit or fuck or rape before? Maybe you've never heard them used in a song, but that doesn't make them new to you. Shock value is not my goal or intent, and it is upsetting to me that people aren't smart enough to realize that. Mike Wolf, music editor at Time Out New York has accused me, more or less, of trying to be shocking, as has Owen Burke of Upright Citizens Brigade and many, many of my comedy peers. It is very disappointing that people who I consider to be of average or above intelligence can't figure out or give me credit for being intelligent, maybe even having a point behind pukedick, shitface, Mr. Pee. In closing, go fuck yourselves if you think I'm just trying to be shocking. I'd like to say you don't get me, but that's a cliché that I don't believe in using, and you probably wouldn't get what I mean by that anyway. (See - that right there was a parody [of YOU.] Are you starting to get it?)


In case you are wondering, my IQ is very high. (Genius level.) So stick that in your ass and shit it out later. I'm not a dumb girl who curses a lot because I don't know how to use big words. Figure out what I'm trying to do for yourself, if you aren't a complete idiot, or in the future, you might try to read the book that will be written about it long after I'm dead. (If you do that sort of thing - you know, read.)


Basically, I am hoping that anyone who doesn't like dirty folk rock will like it better if you understand why it is made, what it is for, what it represents.

I don't necessarily like the idea of rape. Necessarily. But why can't I talk about it? Why can't I say the word rape? Why can't I make jokes about my friend getting raped in an alley by six guys, one being a Mexican who worked the hardest out of everyone, without being accosted by a stranger via e-mail?

I'd like to say it's because everyone is a pussy. And then I'd like to agree with me. Don't fear the raper.
Rape the raper. Take his power away. Do you think a rapist could rape someone who was laughing in his face? I bet it would not be easy.

I could go on and on with this topic. I detest censorship more than anything and it is easy for this to bleed into the confines of the topic of censorship, and that isn't really where I'm trying to go with this. I am really, simply trying to explain dirty folk rock, parody, and justify my art, though it doesn't need justification, it stands on it's own. I just thought that it'd be nice of me to explain it a little bit, maybe, so that my peers will stop being such dicks to me and so that people in the audience might not feel as though their sensitive hearts were being commandeered by inappropriate verbiage.


In closing, dirty folk rock loves you. Fuck it's ass. It will let you. It doesn't even care if you wear a condom or not.



A literary or artistic work that imitates the
characteristic style of an author or a work
for comic effect or ridicule.

Something so bad as to be equivalent to
intentional mockery; a travesty.

Music. The practice of reworking an already
established composition, especially the
incorporation into the Mass of material borrowed
from other works, such as motets or madrigals.


A polyphonic composition based on a sacred text
and usually sung without accompaniment


A song for two or three unaccompanied voices,
developed in Italy in the late 13th and early 14th centuries.

A short poem, often about love, suitable for being set to music.

A polyphonic song using a vernacular text and
written for four to six voices, developed in
Italy in the 16th century and popular in England
in the 16th and early 17th centuries.

A part song.


The standard native language of a country or locality.

The everyday language spoken by a people as
distinguished from the literary language.

A variety of such everyday language specific to
a social group or region: the vernaculars of
New York City.

The idiom of a particular trade or profession:
in the legal vernacular.

An idiomatic word, phrase, or expression.

The common, nonscientific name of a plant or animal.